A Fit Of Thyme Against Rhyme Poem Analysis

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The poem “A Fit of Rhyme against Rhyme” is a response to Samuel Daniel’s prose essay A Defence of Rhyme, in which Daniel describes rhyme as an “antidote to endless motion, to confusion, to mere sensation, to the sway of the passions” (Reading the Early Modern Passions: Essays in the Cultural History of Emotion, 146); while Jonson’s response describes rhyme as a “rack of finest wits, that expresseth but by fits true conceit” (1072, 1-3). Jonson’s poem ironically uses rhyme to ridicule rhyme in a satirical way in order to portray what he understood as “the plain style” of writing poetry. Dylan Thomas’ poem, on the other hand, is about the poetic art and its audience, describing the writing of poetry as a “craft” and “art”. Both poems discuss the relationship between the poets and their poetry using rhyme; but only Thomas’ poem deals more with the audience, which by indifference make his art “sullen”. Ben Jonson himself considered that any good poet (in his art) “must first think, and excoriate his matter; then choose his…show more content…
The first simplest lines of “In my craft or sullen art” begin with the introduction of the phrase “craft or sullen art”, where the conjunction “or” implies the identity of “craft” and “art”, indicating a distinction between them, but implying a connection. By describing his art as “sullen”, the words that come to mind are: lonely, solitary, insociable, and unique, which imply that the poet’s work is lonely and austere as he describes, and since this is a poem and the audience is unsociable, in their eyes this poem may seem crabbed. Despite the audience’s indifference, the
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